Conference Delegate Bios

BEMBENEK Christina. MAJ US Army, 742nd MI Battalion Operations Officer (S3)

Maj. Christina Bembenek graduated from West Point in 2000 with a degree in international relations and a concentration in the Chinese language. Commissioned as a military intelligence officer, her first assignment was as the Battalion S2 for 1-1 Aviation in Ansbach, Germany. She deployed to Kosovo for KFOR 4B as the Aviation Task Force S2. Her next assignment was as the Assistant Brigade S2 for 2nd Brigade, 101st Infantry Division at Ft. Campbell, Ky., which included a 12-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Southern Baghdad, Iraq. She then served as the Assistant S3 for the 525 Battlefield Surveillance Brigade (BfSB) at Ft. Bragg and commanded A Company (SIGINT), 319th Military Intelligence Battalion during a 15-month deployment to Iraq. MAJ Bembenek was selected to be an Olmsted Scholar in 2009 and studied at Mohammad V University in Rabat, Morocco, in a master’s program in public l aw and Political Science, in Arabic. After completing her Olmsted studies, she attended the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kans. She was then assigned to the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade at Ft. Meade, Md., where she served as the Chief of the Global Operations Center-SIGINT and is currently the 742nd MI Battalion Operations Officer (S3).

BENJAMIN-ALVARADO, Jonathan, PhD. Professor, University of Nebraska

Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado is a professor of political science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he focuses on foreign policy, international development and national security. He directs the Intelligence Community Scholars Program at UNO and is a member of the Great Plains National Security Education Consortium, a founding assistant director for research and outreach for the UNO Office of Latino and Latin American Studies (OLLAS), and is a faculty associate with the University of Georgia’s Center for International Trade and Security.

He has researched both Cuba’s efforts to develop a nuclear energy capability and the country’s broader energy development issues, visiting Cuba 26 times since 1992. He has served as a technical advisor to US delegations to Cuba and Latin America on energy development, national security and strategic (nonproliferation) trade issues. He has published numerous articles, monographs and commentaries on these subjects in Spanish, Russian, German and English in newspapers, scholarly and policy journals, including The Political Science Quarterly, The Nonproliferation Review, Cuba in Transition, and Yaderni Kontrol (Russia). He received his PhD from the University of Georgia in 1997, and MA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 1992. He has also attended UCLA and Harvard University.

BORGHARD, Erica, PhD. Professor, US Military Academy

Erica D. Borghard is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences and director of the Grand Strategy Program at the United States Military Academy at West Point. She recently received her PhD in political science from Columbia University, where she conducted dissertation research on proxy alliances and proxy warfare. Her other research interests include grand strategy, international crisis bargaining, intervention, coercion and cyber warfare.

BORDERS, James B, PhD. LTC, USAF & Assistant Professor, USAF Academy

Lt Col James Borders, USAF, is chief of the International Affairs and Defense Policy Division, Department of Political Science, at the US Air Force Academy. He serves as co-editor for American Defense Policy, and instructs in a wide variety of areas involving international relations, national security and American government. He holds a BA from Penn State University, an MS from the Joint Military Intelligence College and a PhD from the University of Georgia, where his research focused on the relationship between the intelligence community and policy makers. As a 22-year Air Force intelligence officer, he has worked with Air Force, joint, and combined commands with a wide variety of missions, ranging from humanitarian operations and nation-building to treaty enforcement, military advising and homeland security. His analytical work has supported operations in the air, land, space, cyber and special operations domains.

CHACHO, Tania, PhD. COL US Army & Professor, US Military Academy

COL Tania M. Chacho, PhD, is an academy professor and the chair of the Political Science Division in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point. She also directs the Comparative Politics program. She holds an MA and a PhD in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). COL Chacho directs and teaches a course on the government and politics of China as well as courses in comparative politics and international security strategy. Selected as a Fulbright German Studies Seminar Scholar in 2011, COL Chacho traveled to Europe to study ethnic diversity and national identity. From 2011-12, she was the West Point Fellow at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., where she taught in the Strategy and Policy Department. Her publications include articles and book chapters on soldier motivation, military relations with nongovernmental organizations, European defense initiatives, US foreign policy towards Europe, counterterrorism, the People’s Republic of China’s involvement in humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations and Sino-NATO relations.

CHIU, Daniel, PhD. DASD/Strategy, US Department of Defense

Daniel Y. Chiu was appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy & force development in May 2014. He is responsible for strategy development and strategic planning in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Chiu leads work on identifying and monitoring global trends related to potential future security challenges. This includes assessing political, military, economic, natural-resource and environmental issues as they relate to US security interests, as well as identifying the range of potential strategic risks and opportunities under conditions of complexity and uncertainty. Chiu also serves as the lead for policy analysis and advice to DoD senior leadership on the development of US forces, assessment of capabilities and the allocation of resources to support the defense strategy. This role includes the development of related planning guidance and the coordination of policy participation in the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution System. Chiu was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service in January 2012 for his work on the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance as acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy.

GOODMAN, William. Assistant Vice-President/Policy, National Defense Industrial Association

Goodman is the assistant vice president for policy at the National Defense Industrial Association. There, he and his staff are responsible for association-wide defense industrial and acquisition policy initiatives and serve as the lead interface between NDIA and government leaders. Previously, Goodman was senior defense adviser to U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the most senior member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Before joining Senator Leahy’s staff, Goodman worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the assistant for plans, where he was responsible for the policy guidance and review of certain combatant command plans and developed domestic counterterrorism policy.

GOODSON, Larry. Professor, US Army War College

Larry P. Goodson holds the General Dwight D. Eisenhower Chair of National Security at the US Army War College. A professor of Middle East studies, he also teaches courses on South Asia. He is a leading US academic specialist on Afghanistan and Pakistan and frequently serves as a regional advisor to senior military and policy leaders. Goodson has lived in Egypt, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and traveled extensively in the Middle East and South Asia, including India, the Gulf countries, North Africa, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Cyprus. He taught at the American University in Cairo (1994-2000) and conducted his dissertation fieldwork in Peshawar, Pakistan (1986-1987). He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Afghanistan’s Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban (2001); the forthcoming book Pakistan: Understanding the Dark Side of the Moon, to be published by Palgrave MacMillan; and numerous chapters and articles. Most recently, he has co-authored, with Thomas H. Johnson, the monograph US Policy and Strategy Toward Afghanistan After 2014, published by the US Army War College Press. Prof. Goodson completed all of his academic work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and is interviewed regularly by US and international media.

HENDERSON, Kristin. Author & Columnist (Conference Rapporteur)

Kristin Henderson is an author and journalist, whose coverage includes reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan. Her work earned the Military Reporters & Editors Association’s large market newspaper/magazine awards for domestic and overseas coverage. She is the author of three books, including While They’re at War: The True Story of American Families on the Home Front, and her writing has appeared in The Washington Post Magazine and, among other outlets. Media appearances include NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Fresh Air,” NBC’s “Weekend Today Show,” C-SPAN, and the BBC. Kristin is married to a Navy chaplain, who served with Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq. She lives in Washington, DC, where she serves on the staff of the Yellow Ribbon Fund, a nonprofit that assists injured service members and their families.

LANE, Heidi. Professor, US Naval War College

Heidi E. Lane is an associate professor of strategy and policy and director of the Greater Middle East Research Study Group at the US Naval War College in Newport, R.I. She has conducted extensive field research in the Middle East, both as a research affiliate with the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and as a US Fulbright scholar in Syria. She was a research fellow with the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University from 2010-2012. She is currently a senior associate at the Center for Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups (CIWAG) at the Naval War College. She specializes in ethnic and religious nationalism, insurgency and terrorism and de-radicalization. She is currently completing research on a book manuscript about the effects of counterterrorism programs on state liberalization in the Middle East. She is also co-editor of a manuscript titled, Rule of Law in the Arab World-in-Transition to be published later this year. Prof. Lane taught as a visiting instructor in the Department of Government at Claremont-McKenna College before joining the US Naval War College in 2003. Prof. Lane holds a MA and PhD in Islamic Studies from the Center for Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Los Angeles and a BA from the University of Chicago. She is trained in Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian.

NOLAN, Robert. Director of Communications & Content Strategy, Carnegie Corporation of NY

Robert Nolan directs communications and content strategy at the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Previously, he served as editor-in-chief of new media at the Foreign Policy Association and producer of the Great Decisions in Foreign Policy television series on PBS. He is a contributing writer for US News & World Report and The Huffington Post. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Zimbabwe, his monograph on the African Union was published in fall of 2010, and he has written extensively on African politics and culture. Nolan is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the National Peace Corps Association. He holds a degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School Journalism.

PEARSON, Fred. Professor, Wayne State University

Frederic S. Pearson teaches political science and directs the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit. He serves on the boards of the Detroit Rotary Club, the Michigan Coalition, and the Center for International Studies at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. A recognized authority on international military intervention, ethnic conflict analysis, and the effects of arms transfers on wars, Prof. Pearson has twice served as a senior Fulbright research professor in both the Netherlands and the UK. He has written on arms trade and crisis behavior in both countries. His numerous books include, Arab Approaches to Conflict Resolution: Mediation, Negotiation, and the Settlement of Political Disputes; Civil Wars: Internal Struggles, Global Consequence and Arms and Warfare: Escalation, De-escalation, Negotiation. He has published scores of articles on these topics in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly and Conflict Management and Peace Science. In 2004 Prof. Pearson was designated a Charles H. Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Wayne State University.

PHILIPS, Michael, COL US Army. Professor, US Army War College

Col. P. Michael Phillips teaches in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa. Col. Phillips served for many years in the Defense Intelligence Agency, first as a political-military analyst and regional branch chief, and later as defense attaché to the US embassies in Tanzania, Eritrea and Liberia. From 2009-2010, he was assigned to the US embassy in Islamabad as chief of ISAF liaison to the Pakistan Army. Upon his return, he served as an intelligence advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Staff’s Pakistan-Afghanistan Coordination Cell. In his most recent assignment, Col. Phillips served as deputy director for intelligence in the National Military Joint Operations and Intelligence Center. Col. Phillips attended the Zimbabwe Joint Command and Staff College and is a graduate of the US Army War College, the Joint Forces Staff College and the US Army Command and General Staff College. He holds degrees in history and political science from Purdue and Indiana Universities and currently is writing a dissertation in defense studies through King’s College London.

RICHARDS, William. Managing Partner, WBR Advisors LLC, New York

A distinguished professor in the internationally ranked Masters of Finance program at IE University in Madrid, Spain, Bill Richards also serves as the chairman of the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation and as a board member of The Jamestown Foundation. A former managing director at UBS Investment Bank, Richards served as an infantry lieutenant in Vietnam 1969 – 1970. Fluent in Vietnamese, he led a mobile advisory team of four Americans embedded with a hundred Vietnamese on the Cambodian border. He has attended the US Army War College’s National Security Seminar. Richards is engaged in national defense matters through BENS—Business Executives for National Security.

SCHMIDT, Wolfe, International Affairs Consultant, FPA Board Member

International affairs consultant Wolfe Schmidt has eighteen years of multinational executive experience in Europe and the US, twelve of them as an entrepreneur and owner of a Wisconsin-based manufacturing company. His business expertise is complemented by years of academic research and lectures in the field of international relations as well as a broad range of civil society engagements, including serving on various nonprofit boards, such as the Foreign Policy Association in New York. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland and resides in the state of Washington.

TANIŞ, Tolga. Washington Correspondent, Hürriyet Daily (Turkey)

Tolga Taniş is the Washington correspondent for Hürriyet, Turkey’s leading daily newspaper. He started his journalism career at Hürriyet in 1998. He attended Galatasaray High School and the Bosphorus University before generating local news for Hürriyet Istanbul and then feature stories for Hürriyet Sunday. In 2004, Taniş became the editor of Hürriyet Sunday. In 2006 he was transferred to the newsroom where he served as the news editor. He was dispatched two years later to New York, where he started a weekly column with a wide spectrum of coverage from economics to American social life, while covering investigative stories. In 2010, Taniş was appointed as the Hürriyet’s Washington correspondent and began to focus his reporting on foreign policy. In 2010 interviewed the US President Barack Obama. In 2011 he interviewed the US Vice President Joe Biden and then covered the 2012 US presidential election. He was born and raised in Istanbul. He is married with two children. He speaks Turkish, English and French.

YORDAN, Carlos. Professor, Drew University

Carlos Yordan is associate professor of international relations and director of the Semester on the United Nations at Drew University in Madison, NJ. He completed his MA in international peace and conflict resolution studies at American University and his PhD in international relations at the London School of Economics. Prof. Yordan has served as a visiting scholar at Cornell University’s Peace Studies Program (since renamed the Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies) and a visiting fellow at Rutgers-Newark’s Division of Global Affairs. He has also held teaching appointments at the University of Maine, Hamilton College and the University of Alabama Birmingham. His research focuses on the legal and political ramifications of humanitarian interventions and post-war peace-building efforts, contemporary debates on US foreign policy and the emergence and effectiveness of post-9/11 global counter-terrorism strategies. His scholarly worked has been published in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, The Journal of International Relations and Development and The Journal of International Law and International Relations, among other outlets.

Norwich Delegates

BEALL, Jonathan, PhD. Professor of Military History, College of Liberal Arts

Jonathan Beall earned his BS in history and education at Indiana Wesleyan University in 2001. A specialist in American military history, he earned his MA and PhD in history at Texas A&M University in 2004 and 2014, respectively. His dissertation examines urban combat in World War II as a way of studying adaptation, lesson learning and flexibility in the wartime US Army. Beall has also written about urban combat and adaptation in the 19th century. His academic interests include how militaries have thought, planned, learned and adapted in peacetime and in wartime. Beall currently teaches military history at Norwich.

CLARK, Murray (Murf). COL US Air Force, Dean, National Services

Col “Murf” Clark serves as the dean of National Services and a professor of aerospace studies at Norwich University. He received his commission in 1987 as a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and holds a master of arts in language arts from the University of Notre Dame. Since Sept. 11, 2001, he has deployed six times to four different forward operating locations and has commanded flying units at the squadron and group level. He is a graduate of the US Army’s Command and General Staff College and has served as a speechwriter, a Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellow, and a professor of command, leadership and management at the US Army War College. He is a command pilot with over 3,700 flying hours.

CUERVO, William. NU 2014

A recent graduate of Norwich University, William Cuervo ‘14 holds a bachelors of arts in political science and co-authored the “NU Report on US Grand Strategy and Military Force Realignment” as an undergraduate. During his time at Norwich, he excelled as a cadet and student, serving as Shock Platoon drill team commander and the Color Guard officer in charge. He represented Norwich at the 65th annual Student Conference on United States Affairs (SCUSA) at the US Military
Academy. As an undergraduate political science major, William embarked on in-depth studies of defense, foreign policy, geopolitics, demography and history. Since graduation, Cuervo has continued to research grand strategy and defense while job-hunting. He also co-owns a boat restoration company with his uncle.

HUNTINGTON, Preston. NU 2014

A recent graduate of Norwich University, Preston Huntington ’14 earned a bachelor’s degree in history and co-authored the “NU Report on US Grand Strategy and Military Force Realignment” as an undergraduate. A member of the Norwich Corps of Cadets, he served as the captain of the Regimental Drill Team and as an intramural sports liaison. Huntington’s academic studies concentrated on areas of the social sciences, including cultural awareness and education, Eastern European history and geopolitics. He stays up to date on world affairs and continues research in history. His hobbies include managing a blog for English speakers from the Czech Republic, ice hockey, and coaching high school level JROTC drill teams. Huntington hopes to enter a master’s degree program in central Europe and later pursue a career advancing cultural understanding and development.

KABAY, Michel, PhD. Professor of Computer Information Systems

Michel E. Kabay began programming in 1965 using IBM 1401 assembler language. In 1976, he received his PhD in applied statistics and invertebrate zoology from Dartmouth College. He subsequently taught statistics, programming and biology as a university professor in Canada and overseas. Since 1986, he has published over 1,400 articles in operations management and security, written a college textbook on enterprise security (McGraw-Hill, 1996), and served as technical editor of the 4th (2002), 5th (2009) and 6th (2014) editions of the Computer Security Handbook (Wiley). He has been an invited lecturer at the United States War College, the Pentagon, NATO HQ in Brussels, and at NATO Counterintelligence training in Germany. From 2002 to 2009, he directed the Master’s Program in Information Assurance in the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies (SGCS) at Norwich University. He also served as SGCS’s chief technical officer from 2007 to 2009. He is currently a professor of computer information systems in the School of Business and Management at Norwich, primarily teaching courses on information assurance and applied statistics.

KASHMERI, Sarwar. Adjunct Professor, Political Science & Conference Chair

Sarwar A. Kashmeri is an adjunct professor of political science at Norwich University and a fellow with the Foreign Policy Association. He is an author and current affairs commentator, recognized on both sides of the Atlantic as a specialist on US-European relations and NATO. A former international businessman, he brings a global business perspective to his work in US foreign policy and national security strategy. He organized Norwich University’s 2014 Conference on “US Grand Strategy & Leadership” and serves as its chairman.

He has written two books, NATO 2.0: Reboot or Delete? and America & Europe After 9/11 and Iraq: The Great Divide, and a US Army War college monograph, NATO & The EU’s Common Security & Defense Policy—Intersecting Trajectories. Kashmeri speaks frequently before business, foreign policy and military audiences and is a commentator on Vermont Public Radio and New Hampshire Public Radio. Besides television and radio appearances, he is a regular columnist for US News & World Report and the Huffington Post. His columns have appeared in several publications including The New York Times/International Herald Tribune and The Guardian. Kashmeri earned a BS in aerospace engineering and an MS in engineering from Saint Louis University, where he taught on the faculty and was director of the Aerospace Engineering School’s Computation Center.

KU, Yangmo, PhD. Assistant Professor, Political Science, College of Liberal Arts

Yangmo Ku is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Studies Program at Norwich University. His research focuses on the politics of memory and reconciliation in East Asia and Europe, East Asian security, economic reform in communist states and US foreign policy making. His work has appeared in Pacific Focus, Yale Journal of International Affairs, Asian Perspective, and the Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society. He has been a research fellow of the Korea Foundation, the Georg-Eckert Institute and the Institute for Far Eastern Studies. He previously taught in the School of International Service at American University and received his PhD in political science from George Washington University.

KIM, Miri. Professor of History, College of Liberal Arts

Miri Kim is an assistant professor at Norwich University specializing in modern Chinese history. She received her PhD in history from the University of California, Irvine, with a dissertation examining the Northeast Military Academy, a military school in early twentieth century Manchuria. Her research interests include military education, transnational cultural flows and photography in East Asia.

TALENTINO, Andrea, PhD. Dean College of Liberal Arts

Andrea Talentino is a professor of political science and dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norwich University. She received her undergraduate degree from Yale and her masters and PhD from UCLA. She was a Sawyer Seminar Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center of International Studies at Princeton University and a faculty member at Tulane and Drew universities before coming to Norwich. She is the author of Military Intervention After the Cold War: The Evolution of Theory and Practice (Ohio University Press, 2005), as well as numerous articles on intervention, civil conflict, peacebuilding and development. Her forthcoming publication (2015), examines the US Africa Command in the context of development and the implications for state building in Africa.

Prof. Talentino established the Center for War and Peace at Norwich University in 2014, and was a driving force behind its debut event in October 2014, which is a national conference to examine the global US military role and leadership in the 21st century. The Center is also developing a project on transnational crime, an issue central to the topics of conflict and sustainable peace, which will require students to be involved in international field operations. She has also worked to develop connections between Norwich and the US Army’s Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, as well as to build international partnerships, notably in Macedonia and Indonesia. A second strand of her research focuses on the intersection between international sport, specifically the Olympics, and international relations.

TCHANTOURIDZÉ, Lasha, PhD. Professor, School of Graduate & Continuing Studies

Lasha Tchantouridzé is an associate professor and the program director for the Master of Arts in Diplomacy at Norwich University and a Davis Center Associate at Harvard University. He also serves as a research fellow at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. He earned his PhD in international relations from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario (2001). Prof. Tchantouridzé’s academic publications focus on geopolitics, Russian foreign policy, globalization, international politics in the Caucasus, NATO-Russia relations, politics of oil and gas in Central Asia and the Caucasus and conflicts in the Caucasus.

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